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J Clin Psychiatry. 1990 May;51(5):184-8.

Sequential combination of imipramine and self-directed exposure in the treatment of panic disorder with agoraphobia.

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Department of Psychiatry, Ohio State University College of Medicine, Columbus 43210.


Thirty-eight patients who had panic disorder with agoraphobia completed 8 weeks of treatment with imipramine followed by 8 weeks of treatment with imipramine combined with behavior therapy consisting of self-directed exposure. Sixty-three percent (24) of the patients responded markedly to this cost-effective combined pharmacologic and behavioral approach. Results also revealed that most of the improvement in panic occurred during the first 8 weeks of treatment when imipramine treatment alone was used, whereas improvement in severity, anxiety, depression, and phobias, in particular, continued to be significant between midtreatment and end of study. Further analysis revealed that improvement in phobic anxiety and avoidance in the first 8 weeks of treatment, rather than improvement in panic, predicted final outcome. Implications of these findings on the complex issue of differential antipanic and antiphobic effects of imipramine are briefly discussed.

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